The University of Southern California women’s rowing team, 37 strong, were training in Bass Lake last in preparation for the upcoming NCAA Nationals in Sacramento this weekend. The Pac 12 team is currently the No. 12 seed coming into the nationals.
The NCAA D-I team, along with coach Zenon Babraj, got in two workouts a day on Bass Lake.
The NCAA Division I Women’s Rowing Committee selected the 22 teams that will compete in the NCAA Rowing Championships with the 12th-ranked USC Women of Troy chosen as one of 11 at-large qualifiers on Tuesday. The women of Troy will appear in the program’s eighth straight NCAA championship regatta - the 10th all-time team selection.
The championships will be held May 27-29 at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center on Lake Natoma in Gold River.
The team championship is composed of 22 teams. Eleven conferences are awarded automatic qualification and the remaining 11 slots are filled with at-large selections.
The 11 automatic qualifiers were Cal, Central Florida, Gonzaga, Jacksonville, Princeton, Rhode Island, Navy, Northeastern, Ohio State, Texas, and Virginia.
Joining USC as at-large selections are Brown, Duke, Indiana, Michigan, Stanford, Syracuse, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin, and Yale. The Trojans are one of five Pac-12 schools set to participate in the championship regatta.
“A wonderful University, a wonderful group of dedicated athletes, and a wonderful place to work-out - a great combination,” said Bass Lake resident Bill Troost.
Troost, a graduate of USC and member of the 1963 USC varsity men’s rowing team, encouraged the teams visit to Bass Lake.
It’s the fourth time the team has been to the lake in the past six years, the last visit being in 2012.
Troost explained that the team usually works out in the Los Angeles Harbor, but Coach Babraj likes to bring them to Bass Lake to elevate their spirits and enjoy the calm waters and beautiful surroundings of Bass Lake.
“Many of the girls on the crew are from Europe where the sport is extremely popular, and boys and girls get into rowing at an early age,” Troost said. “It’s great to have them here in our community.”
Troost added that working out at the 3,415-foot elevation of Bass Lake will give the team a little conditioning advantage over other teams.
“Working out at this elevation will stretch the lung capacity which should help their endurance,” Troost said.